A photograph album compiled by Charles Streatfeild James (1859-1937) and donated by Adam James has been added to the FIBIS image Gallery. (View album ) Adam contacted FIBIS after spotting similarities in some of the photographs in the John Morgan Collection and also spotting his ancestors brother in one of the photographs.
Charles Streatfeild James was born in 1859, the first son of Herbert Henderson James of the 10th Bombay Native Infantry. Charles’ grandfather, Charles Butler James went to Bombay as a cadet in 1802 and served with the Bombay Army until his retirement in 1853. Four of his sons and many of their offspring along with a variety of cousins all had India connections.
Charles was educated at Trinity School Stratford-upon-Avon and then at Coopers Hill Engineering College from 1877 to 1879. He was appointed to the Indian Telegraph Department in January 1879 and spent his working life in the Department, retiring as Director of Telegraphs for Oude and Agra. He married Elizabeth (Bessie) Ellen Mackenzie (1st May 1886), daughter of Nicholas William Mackenzie, a banker. They had two children, Dorothy Place James (died young) and Ralph James DSO who died in 1916 at Morval on the Western Front.
The photographs start in England around 1878 and then show Charles’ journey out to India via Palestine, Egypt and Colombo. Most are stock pictures, so he may not have visited Jerusalem. Then come a series of stock photos of Calcutta and some of railway bridges. He was based at Surat and Barrackpore where he met and married Bessie Mackenzie. The album has several photographs of prominent government buildings, local views and family and social events.
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